Miracle on 45 Main Street
Tue, January 09, 2018 | Author: Jim Enos | Volume 25 Issue 2
Most, if not all of us, have seen the movie Miracle on 34th Street, which centres around a kindly old gentleman who claims to be Kris Kringle, Santa Claus himself. Macy’s department store has him committed to the Bellevue Mental Health Facility on the grounds that he is insane.
The whole affair ends up in court with the judge being left with the tough task of deciding if this gentleman is Santa Claus or, for that matter, if there really is a Santa Claus at all. A harmless movie that’s fun to watch. Macy’s is trying to have Kris institutionalized for being insane and the Court, while knowing Santa is not real, does not want to make that ruling.
On December 20, 2017, I took a day off work and spent it in an Ontario Superior Court located at 45 Main Street East, in Hamilton, Ontario, to witness a case in which the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society (HCAS) removed two young sisters from what the HCAS themselves acknowledged was a nurturing and supportive home because the family would not tell the children that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real. Unlike the movie Miracle on 34th Street, this story is real and involves real people.
Here a state funded agency must defend their actions in court; defend their rationale for removing foster children from a foster home because the parents refused to lie to the foster children. The foster parents would not promise to tell the lies, the complete lies, and nothing but the lies.
Representing the foster family was lawyer Marty Moore of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF). JCCF is a Canadian registered charity, which intervenes in numerous court cases across Canada involving individual freedom, freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, and equality before the law. All of these are essential components of a democratic society and are important for Christians to understand in our current culture, which seems to be turning against Christianity and all things Christian.
Some of Mr. Moore’s arguments on behalf of the foster parents were as follows:
In 2015, the foster parents became aware of a need for additional foster homes in the Hamilton area;
- The foster parents identified themselves to HCAS as being members of the Free Christian Reformed Church;
- The foster parents also disclosed on their application that they would not endorse Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or Halloween;
- HCAS, despite these disclosures, approved the foster home and placed two young sisters aged three and five into the home a few weeks before Christmas. The real needs of the sisters identified by HCAS and why they were being placed in this home were:
- Past neglect and abuse; they were left alone at their biological home for extended periods, and the sisters were witnesses to domestic violence. As a result, the sisters required gentle and sensitive care with the goal being for them to be raised in a stable and nurturing environment;
- January 6, 2016 notes of a meeting between the foster family and HCAS worker stated, “children were well-cared for and loved” but went on to indicate that the foster parents were instructed that day to endorse Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and that the foster parents were sharply criticized for not doing so;
- In an affidavit of one HCAS worker, it was stated that the “Birth mother expected the children to celebrate Santa in a traditional way;” however there were no notes in the HCAS records that verify that the birth mother expected this. It appears that this “endorsement ideology” was that of the HCAS workers, not the birth mother;
- The birth mother in a communication to the foster family wrote, “I would like take the time to thank you for making Christmas a good time for them.” There was no mention of Santa Claus;
- HCAS indicated that the sisters were pulled from the foster home because the family did not provide for their cultural needs.
Some points made by HCAS lawyer:
- The HCAS agreement states that foster homes must “Share the philosophy of the Children’s Aid Society and be respectful of children’s values;”
- The “magic” of Christmas is the Christmas tree and Santa and the “magic” of Easter is the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs;
- The HCAS was looking for a balancing act where the foster parents would not have to lie but at the same time not tell the truth.
Key Points Made on Charter Rights
- Canada is a free and democratic society;
- No citizen can be forced to act against sincerely held beliefs and convictions; to demand that they do so is totalitarian not democratic;
- Every person is entitled to his or her own opinion but no person is entitled to change facts;
- The foster parents have a deep conviction about not lying to children and gave prior notice but HCAS was demanding that they act against that deep conviction;
- The duty of HCAS (any government agency) is neutrality with respect to beliefs and respect for sincerely-held beliefs of foster parents;
- The foster family do not have to affirm Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny;
- The foster family (or any Canadian citizen) should not be forced to lie.
All of the above are only a sample of some of the points made, yet they provide a tremendous example of the rights and freedoms of all Canadian citizens…rights and freedoms that Christians specifically must make their own as the culture continues to turn against us. Rights and freedoms that CHP Canada (The Christian Heritage Party) continues to speak up for and defend.
Join us in defending these rights and freedoms to the benefit of all Canadians. Join CHP Canada today!
Other Commentary by Jim Enos: